Rabbit was a cute little thing. She had a squiggy, pink nose and a little, white tail. She loved to play. She was uber friendly and would always make allowances for everyone. Some might say she was a bit naive and a bit too hopeful, but Rabbit was just Rabbit and couldn’t help herself.
Well, one day Rabbit met a new rabbit and she wanted to be friendly and kind and play nice with this stranger. But what Rabbit didn’t know, was that this newcomer was really Snake.
Snake had slipped on a rabbit disguise and he had learnt how to say some of the things that rabbits liked to hear.
Snake had discovered that if he did that, then he could pretend to be a rabbit, walking around with the other rabbits and find a simpler, unsuspecting rabbit that he could use to his advantage.
Rabbit didn’t know about snakes.
She had just looked at Snake’s super cute fur, interesting eyes and had listened with rapt interest to his stories about his sad life as a rabbit.
Snake told Rabbit about all the other bad girl and boy rabbits he had known.
How these other rabbits had ruined his life, how he really was so unfortunate and why he didn’t trust any rabbits anymore.
He told her about his baby rabbits, that now he never saw because he had had them stolen from him.
He told her about his bad mummy and daddy rabbit and how they had been cruel and mean to him.
And all the time, Snake was practicing that ancient snake mesmerising trick of staring deeply into Rabbit’s eyes.
Rabbit was enthralled by Snake.
She felt sorry for him, at all the injustice he had suffered. She wanted to help him, and love him and show him that not all rabbits were like those bad rabbits.
She poured open her heart to him and promised to do anything she could to make things better for him.
In no time at all, Rabbit found herself rushing around doing everything she could to help Snake. Soon she was spending more time helping him, than she was on helping herself.
Her friend’s asked her, ‘Why are you so glum Rabbit? Why are you so tired Rabbit? Why do we never play together anymore Rabbit?’ Rabbit didn’t know.
All Rabbit knew was that she was doing everything and anything she could to make Snake smile. But that it didn’t seem to matter what she did, Snake never smiled.
Rabbit felt sad and exhausted, but whenever she asked Snake for help, his voice hissed low, telling her she was just like the other rabbits: lazy, stupid and selfish. That, in fact, she didn’t care about Snake at all, all she cared about was herself.
Now Rabbit was a very conscientious rabbit and she thought, ‘Well if my good friend is telling me this, it must be true and I must try harder‘.
So Rabbit would not rest, and Rabbit would not have fun, and Rabbit would not do the things she used to like to do; she just tried harder and harder to make Snake smile.
And all the time Snake would sit, his cold eyes following Rabbit’s every move. He let out a relentless, venomous spitting, his forked tongue hissing how much she let him down; how what she was, was worthless.
Sometimes, if Snake was annoyed or hungry or hot or cold or simply bored, he would bite Rabbit and gobble down a chunk of her.
Rabbit would cry in pain but Snake would tell her she had made him do it because she was useless and all wrong.
Scared. miserable Rabbit would sit in the dark, trying not to cry, nursing her bleeding wounds alone.
She would tell herself not to be a silly, selfish Rabbit and that she needed to just keep going and to keep trying and that if she persevered and was more understanding, she would get it right one day.
And so Snake fed on Rabbit.
And as he fed on her, Snake grew bigger and fatter.
And as he grew bigger and fatter, his rabbit disguise got tighter and tighter.
Until one day ‘pop’ it ripped apart, the seams splitting all over and suddenly, Rabbit began to catch glimpses of Snake’s cold scales beneath.
Green, blue, brown, red, yellow. Glittering mosaics, flashing like warnings. Splashes of danger.
But Rabbit didn’t know what she was seeing. She only knew about rabbits. She would rub her eyes and tell herself she was imagining things.
Even if Rabbit had known how to explain what she was seeing, she couldn’t have asked any other rabbits because now she was always alone.
She had told her rabbit friends that she was too busy to see them, so they had stopped asking to visit her anymore.
When she had gone out to spend time with them, afterwards Snake had always bitten her hard. Now she told herself it was better to be a good, loyal rabbit and stay in the burrow. That way, she hoped, maybe he wouldn’t hurt her so much.
Poor Rabbit. She tried telling Snake he was hurting her. She tried explaining to him how to be a kinder rabbit to her but, of course, Snake couldn’t do that because Snake was a snake and he was just doing what snakes do.
Rabbit tried so hard to make Snake smile, thinking ‘if only I do this for Snake then he will be pleased with me‘. But we know better. Rabbit could never make Snake smile because Snake was a snake and snakes don’t smile. Snakes just hiss and bite.
Terrorised, little Rabbit, covered in bites, with no rabbit friends to ask for help, found herself sharing a burrow with a snake, so what could she do?
Well, of course reader, that primarily depends on the first step: whether Rabbit came to understand that Snake was not a rabbit, but in fact a snake.
Rabbit’s future rests on that.